Legislation

Laws governing the seed industry

Plant Improvement Act, 2018
(Act No. 11 of 2018)


Makes provision for:

  • Variety denominations and the variety list
  • Establishment of certification schemes
  • Prohibition on the sale of uncertified seed
  • Requirements for seed

South African Variety List for Seeded Crops:

Plant Breeder’s Act, 2018
(Act No. 12 of 2018)


Makes provision for:

  • A system where under plant breeders’ rights relating to varieties of certain kinds of plants may be granted and registered
  • For the requirements which have to be complied with for the grant of such rights
  • For the protection of such rights and the grant of licences in respect of the exercise thereof;
  • To provide for incidental matters

Agricultural Pests Act, 1983
(Act No. 36 of 1983 Drafts:)


Makes provision for measures through which agricultural pests can be prevented and combatted

  • Regulates the import of all controlled goods, including seed
  • Provides for the implementation of measures for the spread of quarantine organisms already in the country

Genetically Modified Organisms Act, 1997
(Act No. 15 of 1997)


Makes provision for:

  • Measures to promote responsible development, production, use and application of GMOs
  • To limit possible harmful consequences for the environment, to cover preventions of accidents
  • To set standard measures for evaluation of potential risks
  • To establish yardsticks for risk assessment and for procedures for notification
  • The GMO Act regulates all genetic modification with recombinant DNA, except for human gene therapy.